Courtney Conlogue doing her thang.
Courtney Conlogue doing her thang.

Orange County surfers fume after famous first daughter Courtney Conlogue claims hated Los Angeles a “surfers’ paradise”

"El Porto is often crowded with local surfers due to its consistent waves with above-average quality and height."

I am currently in Paris, France where the country’s further right continues to stun pundits with victory after victory. Round one of Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron’s snap elections were carried out today with more bummer news for progressives and televisions everywhere are flashing much talking heads discussing Marine Le Pen, Greg LeMond and other Pepe Le Pews. None, though, are as furious as Orange County, California surfers who, also today, were forced to read first daughter Courtney Conlogue’s utter betrayal.

Those who live behind the curtain woke up to an extremely rude shock. Conlouge’s Santa Ana bonafides need no burnishing. The longtime professional surfer an orange flavored icon. But how did she repay her people?

This way, according to the august BBC:

“LA is a surfer’s paradise,” says Conlogue, who grew up in nearby Orange County and learned the fundamentals of surfing from her father when she was just four years old. “The county has every type of wave you might be looking for, whether it’s a soft beginner’s beach break, point breaks with their long peelers or powerful reef breaks that churn out circular barrel waves. With the Pacific Coast Highway running adjacent to the beaches, part of the fun of surfing here is hunting down the perfect place to spontaneously pull up and dive in.”

Later adding the best beginner spot around is Erik Logan’s Mannhattan Beach.


Part of northernmost Manhattan Beach, El Porto is one of LA’s most-surfed waves for good reason. “The ocean here forms a beach break so it’s better for beginners who can find their feet in smaller and less-intimidating waves,” says Conlogue.
A stone’s throw from Los Angeles International Airport, El Porto is often crowded with local surfers due to its consistent waves with above-average quality and height.

Above-average quality and height?


Giant sads spreading from Downey to San Clemente.

Jet lag just hit hard.

So more as this story develops.

Sublime redux. Ready to set it off.
Sublime redux. Ready to set it off.

World Surf League gagging for another riot as Sublime set to reggae rock US Open of Surfing

"What's that I see in Huntington Beach??!!"

Chain wallet wearers and those who iron the brims of their baseball caps rejoiced, yesterday, thrusting broken knuckled fists into the heated valley air as it was announced that Sublime will headline the US Open of Surfing’s musical offering on August 3rd.

The World Surf League, which sanctions the yearly bacchanal wherein professional surfers bounce up and down upon their boards, explained the formerly popular band features, “original members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh, with Jakob Nowell, son of the late Bradley Nowell, as front man.” The Global Home of Surfing added, “special guest Makua Rothman is also set to perform. The intimate, one-night show will be hosted on the sand at the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier.”

Whilst Rothman’s musical stylings will certainly be enjoyed, the intimacy might be lightly overshadowed by the riot that will almost certainly be taking place.

Rioting and the US Open have become synonymous over the years, bashing windows, flipping portable potties, wearing bandanas and fighting all as much a part of the show as foam climbs. Usually, the riot needs some music in order to kick it off though. Modest Mouse got the last one going in 2014.

Ten years on, riot aficionados are hoping that Sublime’s ska punk slash reggae rock stylings will be more conducive to a longer and larger brawl.

A run on Dickies heavy weight shorts expected.

Tickets for the show will be available for pre-sale beginning Friday, June 28, at 8:00 a.m. PDT using the password: feellikethat.

The general on-sale will open on Sunday, June 30, at 8:00 a.m. PDT.

“What’s that I see in Huntington Beach??!! Sun, Surf, and Sublime at the US Open! Come claim your spot and be a part of history,” Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh declared, leaving out “shivaree” though heavily implying it.


CH11 surf shop Ventura
Former professional surfers own beer brands and real estate ventures. Instead, he’s selling t-shirts and making videos. And standing there in his shop, he looks damn happy doing it. | Photo: Jen See

Iconic Ventura surf shop owned by Dane Reynolds set to be bulldozed

“IN THE NAME OF PROGRESS…the CH11 store is getting torn down…”

The former world number four surfer, daddy to seven, neighbour to jack-in-the-box drummer boy Travis Barker and reality star Kourtney Kardashian, Dane Reynolds, has shocked lovers of authentic surf culture with news, today, that his iconic Ventura surf shop is set to be bulldozed. 

The green shack at 365 East Santa Clara Street in Ventura, called CH11, a place where its famous owner will greet customers and offer screen-printed t-shirts, still warm from the freshly applied inks, opened a couple of years back and quickly became the hub around which that surf community revolved. 

Still, progress is progress, as they say, and to hell with the human cost. 

(Read the Development Approval here.)

“IN THE NAME OF PROGRESS the Ch11 store is getting torn down, but not without a final blowout sale,” writes Dane Reynolds. “Today through Sunday everything in store is 40-70% off.”


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Two years back, Jen See wrote movingly of CH11 and its place in surfing culture.

Let’s go inside.

A round glass table readily at home in your grandparents’ living room stands in the center of the room. It’s an obvious thrift shop find. Piles of stickers sit on the table’s two shelves. As a grom at heart, I took the free stickers, yes.

Surf films run on the video screens, which should not surprise you at all.

A poster hangs on the wall from the premier of “Glad You Scored” at the nearby Majestic Ventura Theater, a battered single-screen movie house. There’s a framed photograph of Reynolds surfing, and a framed movie flyer from Australia. Nothing fancy.

Clothing from Former runs along one wall. The line has subdued colors, which is to say, there’s a lot of black. Reynolds pulls design elements from eclectic sources, and the current collection brings a punk-mod vibe.

Reynolds is also producing clothing under his Chapter 11 TV label, and it occupies the store’s opposite wall. Bright, playful, and mostly hand-drawn, it feels entirely different from Former. The groms seem to like it — smaller sizes were scarce.

In an Instagram story, Reynolds explains one of the designs. While sending a text to filmer Hunter Martinez during the Haleiwa comp, Reynolds told him to “Capture the moment.” At the same time, Reynolds was drawing a shooting star for one of his daughters. It’s now a cute as fuck t-shirt and hoody. I regret not buying one.

One corner holds hats and t-shirts from Trashboy, a creation from Courtney Jaedtke, Reynolds’s wife. It derives from son Sammy’s early obsession with the garbage truck, if I remember correctly. Between them, Jaedtke and Reynolds produce an almost dizzying array of clothing and art. It’s hard to keep up.

Boards and suits remain on the sparser side. A few boards hang from the ceiling with space for more. A stack of cards at the front desk stands ready for custom orders to Channel Islands. The extremely analogue approach fits. A rack holds a dozen or so wetsuits.

An opening in the back wall shows a small workspace with a four-color t-shirt printing press. It’s Saturday afternoon, and Reynolds is back there screening shirts. He looks relaxed and happy, like there are few places he would rather be. He waves a cheerful hello.

Surf today?

Nah, it was flat all the way down the coast. Looked like a swimming pool.

Did you check the harbor? He sounds like he’s trying to help us, like he really wants us to find surf today.

I admit that we did not check the harbor. It was so flat, you could have seen a whale fart.

We rehearse the call and response. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. It’s the slowest winter anyone has seen in years.

We buy a t-shirt and Reynolds thanks us for stopping by and for supporting the project. It feels genuine. He wants to succeed at this thing.

Former professional surfers own beer brands and real estate ventures. They fix and they flip. If Reynolds has a real estate empire, he’s kept it a secret. Instead, he’s selling t-shirts and making videos. And standing there in his shop, he looks damn happy doing it.

There’s a quality of giving back about Reynolds’ current chapter that’s hard to resist. He created Chapter 11 TV to serve as a video platform for the local rippers. He’s one of the many partial owners of Channel Islands surfboards. (The brand passed the hat among team riders, employees, and local friends to come up with Burton’s asking price.)

At a recent film night at CI, one of his daughters held her hands over ears. She felt the music was too loud. Ten minutes later, all three kids were asleep in their parents’ laps.

Outside 365 E. Santa Clara, traffic rushes by, and around the small building, time shifts the city. Walk two blocks, and find a bargain-rate Motel 6 and a liquor store.

It’s easy to feel like surfing’s soul has drowned in a sea of soft tops and Sprinter vans. The latest private equity firm to come along buys and sells the empty shell that’s left. Pull the shrinkwrap off another one.

Did it ever exist at all? Did surfing ever have a soul? Seduced by magic images and exuberant story-telling, did we imagine the whole thing?

I’m pretty sure our battered soul still exists, stuck to us like the last chunk of wax at the bottom of the box.

It might be the guy screening t-shirts in the back of his shop and making cheerful small talk about the waves and the forecast. It might be the next generation of groms falling asleep on movie night. It might be the women hanging out in the parking lot, talking about board designs.

Vale CH11 etc.

And, in some good news, a new joint is planned for the Fall.

Italo Ferreira wins Vivo Rio Pro
Italo Ferreira, happy as a trout after winning first ever contest in Brazil.

Raging Italo Ferreira curb stomps countryman Yago Dora in front of frenzied fans to take the Rio Pro!

Passion, personified.

There are two ways to look at the Rio Pro from Saquarema.

You could look at it as a mostly average beachbreak that most average surfers would turn their noses at, nevermind the pros, who hope only to find one clean bit of face or closeout section where they might luck into a mid-six for a single turn.

Or, you could look at it as a welcome juxtaposition from the barrelling tropical reefs of Tahiti and Fiji, as an opportunity to see what elite surfers can do on objectively poor waves, and you might appreciate how this stretches them.

And of course, you should surely see that the Brazilian fans are the only proper surf fans anywhere in the world.

Being the kind of uplifted and positive guy I am, I’m very much pro Brazil.

In saying that, there are few highlights that all those of you who sleep during competition hours should seek out. This is not the kind of comp where you might appreciate condensed heats or replays. Even the highest scoring waves will look bizarre without the context of the whole day.

No need to worry about missing any insightful commentary either.

“He’s my pick to be world champion”, proclaimed Mitch Salazar in reference to yellow jersey wearer and leader by more than eleven thousand points, John Florence.

“I love that insight”, Kaipo replied with clear sincerity.

Scoring at Saquarema was a mush of fives, sixes and sevens. All were much the same. Clear water was rare and happened upon by luck. Any man might feel lucky or aggrieved by the outcome of any heat.

Yet, somehow, amidst such uncertainty, everyone who matters to the top five race (barring Jack Robinson) has made it to the quarter final stage, and that makes for an intriguing finish.

Connor O’Leary and Italo Ferreira will match up in quarter final one, owing to victories over Jack Robinson and Rio Waida.

Both have made the most of lumpy Sacquerma, O’Leary with powerful forehand surfing we rarely get to see, and Italo with explosiveness and unpredictability that only he brings in conditions like this.

Ferreira notched by far and away the best performance of the day in his defeat of Waida. The most striking aspect of his 17.50 heat total being not the numbers, but the joy he exudes in joyless waves. Italo is the man to beat here, and he’s sniffing at the edge of the top five.

As is Gabriel Medina, who will match up with Griffin Colapinto in quarter two. Both made their way to this stage with narrow victories in heats bereft of quality opportunities.

Colapinto sent Liam O’Brien home, but in a heat where only seven waves were attempted between them and really could’ve gone either way.

It was noted in commentary that Griffin Colapinto is known to meditate for up to eight hours a day. My notes suggest this is the meditative privilege of a deeply privileged man.

Medina’s defeat of Cole Houshmand was tight. A rare single figure heat total of 9.60 for Medina just pipped Houshmand’s 9.27. Medina attempted nine waves, Houshmand only two, but the fact that five of Medina’s waves were scored at less than a point tells you everything you need to know about the conditions.

Still, Medina is coming back to himself towards the end of the season, as he so often does. His post heat interviews exude composure and the eloquence of man in control of his destiny. Every day I rue the decision not to pull the trigger on a stupidly large bet on him to win the world title this year at the 22/1 odds that were offered pre Teahupo’o.

Two other men who seem in control amidst the chaos will meet in quarter three, John Florence and Yago Dora.

Dora is the reigning champion here, and seems to have retained the rhythm he found in El Salvador. Even if he’s not quite locked in to his dynamic best yet, he remains impossibly smooth. A counter, perhaps, to Italo’s twitchy explosiveness.

Florence, for his part, looks chillingly composed at the top of the rankings.

But quarter final four is perhaps the most intriguing, given the conditions and the rankings. Jordy Smith and Ethan Ewing wouldn’t be your first picks in wonky beachbreak.

Much less so, Smith to be in the top five at this stage of the season, at this point in his career. Honestly, despite watching all of these comps, I’m struggling to remember any Jordy highlights from this year. Have I just stopped paying attention to him? Please tell me if this is an anomaly, or I’ve simply failed to notice excellent surfing from him this year.

However, something I did notice (and a nod to Kaipo, who may have mentioned it at some point yesterday) was the sheer physicality of the men at the business end of both this competition and the season as a whole.

I once wrote an article about the fact that 5’9” was the optimum height for a pro surfer, given the number of athletes who were exactly this height or near enough. But the notion that tall, powerfully built surfers were generally disadvantaged has been blown out the water in recent years.

Anyway, regardless of how you feel about Brazil, it’s undeniable that we’ve got some of the best finals day match-ups in recent memory. Let’s hope for some decent waves to do it justice.

And if you’ll excuse me I need to go and dwell on my first day of official unemployment, whilst nursing a deep, clammy hangover.

It was my last day as a teacher yesterday. Maybe just for twelve months, maybe forever. I’m still mildly conflicted about it, but it’s happening and I can’t go back.

This week, kids stopped me in the corridor to tell me I’d better come back. There was a note on my desk from some pupils. They hope the book I plan to write goes well, they said. Maybe they’d even read it. But did I really have to leave to do it? Couldn’t I stay and write a book about them, maybe?

I could, maybe. But I need to commit entirely to something else for a while. And that thing is indeed writing a book. It’s biography, of sorts. About an exceptional figure, a hill runner. Perhaps the fastest man to run in our hills in hundreds of years of recorded history, but a man whose humility outweighs his talent. A man only very few people would know about if it wasn’t for writers who recognise how important stories like his are. Stories of true greatness without fanfare or ego.

It won’t make me rich, this book. In all likelihood it won’t even pay the bills. But it feels important. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to tell this story, if I can pull it off.

Wish me luck. Or not. Either works.

(Editor’s note: As mentioned in the headline, Italo Ferreira won. Details on that bit tomorrow.)

Open thread: Comment live, Finals Day, Vivo Rio Pro!

"A show that ends in a hecatomb of blood!"